Client: Dr. Dorothy Fisher
Project: cover letter
Date: February 19, 2016
27 February 2016
Dear Dr. XXX and members of the search committee,
Thank you for the opportunity to present myself as a top-notch candidate for the position of VP and CMO, XXX Medical Group. I am confident you will see that through the breadth of my work experience, I have amassed the robust skill set necessary to successfully help the XXX Medical Group exceed its current goals.
In addition to being an adept leader, the new VP/CEO must possess the skills to position XXX’s medical group for successful transition from volume to value-based care. I have direct experience and success with this type of transition in my work history. As medical director for the Sentara Quality Care Network (SQCN), a network of 2800 providers and 365+ practices, I am responsible for transitioning the network from FFS to value. We are accomplishing this in several ways. First, we educate providers on MACRA and the CMS drive to value in a timely and appropriate manner. By using a combination of communication modes such as a newsletter, face-to-face meetings, and WebEx, the information is provided to practice staff as well as providers. Second, we developed a strategy coordinated with overall system goals. At Sentara, we brought organizational stakeholders to the table to make sure that organization goals are considered. Third, bringing transparent, actionable data to the providers in a motivating and nonthreatening manner is critical. Our goal is to harness the providers’ inner drive for quality and competition into action. I developed a yearlong roadmap to accomplish this. I provide logic for the SQCN IT and analytics team to inform report development. Lastly, we redesigned workflows to maximize efficiency and effectiveness based on contractual requirements.
The VP/CMO is also charged with the task of collaboratively developing a data-driven quality improvement strategy among organizational stakeholders based on local, regional, and national best practices. I’ve done just that in several other positions. While at SQCN, I analyzed quality and utilization data for three large employer groups to guide development and implementation of seven clinical improvement work groups. These work groups were interdisciplinary, physician-led multi-stakeholder groups focused on value. One such group focused on headaches, which was found to be a major cost/utilization driver, a reason for absenteeism/presenteeism, as well as a diagnosis the local PCPs were uncomfortable with. Utilizing evidenced-based medicine and national best practices, we implemented a CPOE intervention to decrease unnecessary imaging and launched a two-hour headache management CME. We developed a dashboard populated with data from the ED and health plan to monitor effectiveness and areas for continued progress.
In addition to quality improvement, the XXX VP/CMO will have to establish the medical groups’ priorities for optimizing patient-centric care and successfully collaborate with other system stakeholders to co-develop an appropriate system-wide action plan and roadmap for implementation. I’ve proven my capacity to successfully collaborate with other system stakeholders. With input from the health plan and medical group, we have now reworked the SQCN workflow to include coordination with office-based and health plan resources. Based on best practices shared at The Brookings Institute ACO Summit, I redesigned SQCN’s care management program to optimize efficiency, maximize effectiveness, and return nurses to practicing at the top of their license. We have streamlined the process from 24 to 14 steps and have added a non-licensed patient services coordinator to off-load unskilled tasks formerly performed by nurses. This has increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction, and ROI.
The VP/CMO will also lead a provider development/alignment effort with goals to improve physician/ACP alignment with organization culture and goals and increase leadership development. I’ve already demonstrated strong skills in those areas in past positions. For example, in my work with LIFE Geisinger, I succeeded in making our program a medicine resident rotation site. Then I trained residents in the principles of transitions of care and how to be member of an interdisciplinary team since our model included APCs and PharmDs. At Geisinger Health Plan, I developed an orientation program for new clinical enterprise providers to familiarize them with the health plan and foster better relationships between these two entities which were often at odds with each other. We were then able to leverage these relationships to develop initiatives to streamline the authorization process for certain chemotherapeutic regimens and pharmaceuticals. Lastly, I have been an active mentor in the pAdvance program at Sentara Healthcare where many of Sentara’s physician leaders have been groomed. This program helps participants focus leadership skills toward a clinical problem. Mentors provide guidance and leadership support and follow this through completion of the clinical solution.
Finally, I understand that the successful VP/CMO must be personable and well spoken, data savvy, and a creative and strategic thinker who works well in a matrixed environment. Coworkers and supervisors have described me as engaging and articulate, and I am able to work well with many different personality types. I meet people in their comfort zone and am not easily offended or intimidated. I’m also no stranger to strategic thinking. As Regional Medical Director at Geisinger, CMO at New West Medicare and as the Medical Director for the Sentara Quality Care Network, I was a key partner in strategic development. This entailed assessing national and regional trends in healthcare financing, competition, opportunities and patient demographics. I have worked much of my career in a matrixed team environment and thus know how to leverage expertise brought to the table. At Geisinger, I brought an eight-department team together to work on a program for two years. While at times challenging this structure afford opportunity for synergy and cross-fertilization that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve. I was able to keep the team engaged the whole time by rotating the meeting leadership, encouraging input and assigning different team members the role of “devil’s advocate.” Similarly, at Sentara, I have a multidisciplinary team representing nine departments whom I bring together to work collectively on various network needs and to meet each month for updates. A similar structure plus accountability keeps this matrix very functional
I know the challenge in front of you is great. Selecting the right person for this key position can have big consequences for XXX, positive or negative. Choosing a candidate who has a proven track record is as essential as selecting somebody who will be a good fit personally. Because I have that proven track record in every skill set required of the VP/CMO, I would welcome the opportunity to explore through a face-to-face meeting whether I’m somebody who would gel with the culture of your organization. I’m very excited about this opportunity and I would be thrilled to share with you some of the ideas I already have for advancing the XXX mission: Working as one to improve health through exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.
With kind regards,